388

Bobby Sanabria / Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra: Kenya Revisited Live!!!

Alain Londes By

Sign in to view read count
2009 is a key year in Latin music education and rediscovery. Kenya Revisited Live!!! is the culmination of Bobby Sanabria's effort to recreate Machito & The Afro-Cubans' defining 1957 masterpiece, Kenya: Afro-Cuban Jazz (Roulette), under the direction of Mario Bauza. It's a real bridge between Afro-Cuban music and jazz, featuring the Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra with special guest/NEA jazz master Cándido Camero on congas for three tunes.

The show starts off with "Frenzy," a lively, fast tempo with short trombone solos, joined later by the whole band before an added extension for alto-saxophone.

The title track brings in trombonists one after the other, followed by tenor saxophone, easing into a mellow lullaby before breaking into heavily rhythmic drum play, with Cándido showcasing his gifts by making the congas sing just as he did 50 years ago. "Oyeme" could, at first, be easily taken as a variation on Miles Davis' "Tune Up," and a reminder of Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's contribution to the original performance. The steady 4/4 intro to "Holiday," featuring Harmon-muted trumpet, discreetly slips into a subtle 5/4 for trumpet and trombone solos before being joined by the rest of the band. Another Adderley tribute makes its way onto "Cannonology." Lead altoist Justin Janer—already an award-winning young musician busy on both coasts—makes an impressive contribution here and other pieces. A heavy dose of cha-cha-cha permeates "Blues A La Machito," with the whole band in full swing in what Sanabria would call "Basie meeting Machito."



"Conversation" demonstrates a blend of influences, with a bembé 6/8 beat from the Yoruba people of Nigeria, as well as some solid swing and mambo components, all in one piece.

Following conguero Chano Pozo's classic "Tin Tin Deo," the mambo-laced "Minor Rama" features a solid solo from baritone saxophonist Michael Sherman, anchoring the other horns. The lively show ends with a New Orleans second line rendition of "Tururato," a fitting way to bring the influences of Africa and Cuba right to the birthplace of jazz in America. With electric bassist Billy Norris laying down solid funk lines, Sanabria engages the audience in a thrilling call-and-response.

Kenya Revisited Live!!! is as educational as it is fun to hear. The Manhattan School of Music is in top form, playing authentic Afro-Cuban music without steering too far into unnecessary variations. Sanabria also brings this music to a wider audience. In the fall of 2009, Public Broadcasting System (PBS) viewers will get to see Latin Music USA, a project that demonstrates how Latin music is a mainstream style of music in America, and how it has influenced different styles in modern culture, including jazz.

Track Listing: Intro; Frenzy; Congo Mulence; Kenya; Oyeme; Holiday Holiday; Cannonology; Wild Jungle; Blues A La Machito; Conversation; Theme and Variations On Tin Tin Deo; Tin Tin Deo; Minor Rama; Tururato.

Personnel: Bobby Sanabria: conductor, drums (8), timbales (3), vocals; Candido: congas (4, 8, 14), Justin Janer: lead alto saxophone; Vince Nero: alto saxophone; Pawan Benjamin: tenor saxophone; Michael Davenport: tenor saxophone; Michael Sherman: baritone saxophone; Michael Taylor: lead trumpet; Jimmie "J.J." Kirkpartick: trumpet; Anthony Stanco: trumpet; Jonathan Barnes: trumpet; Timothy Vaughn: lead trombone; Felix Fromm: trombone; Nate Adkins: trombone; Timothy "T.J." Robinson: bass trombone; Billy Norris: acoustic bass, electric bass (12, 14); Christian Sylvester Sands: piano; Norman Edwards: drums; Giancarlo Anderson: bongo (2, 7, 10, 14),congas (4, 8, 12, 13), clave (3, 5),vocals; Jake Golblas: congas (3, 6, 7, 10), claves (2, 5, 9, 13), shekere (4, 8, 12), timbales (14), vocals; Cristian Rivera: congas (2), bongo (3, 5, 12, 13), claves (4, 6, 8, 9, 14), shekere (10), guiro (7), vocals; Obanilu Allende: guiro (2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 12), clave (12), bongo (4 ,6, 9), caja (10, 14).

Title: Kenya Revisited Live!!! | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Jazzheads

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Live at I.C.U.U. Album Reviews
Live at I.C.U.U.
By Karl Ackermann
June 16, 2019
Read 789 Miles Album Reviews
789 Miles
By David A. Orthmann
June 16, 2019
Read Follow Me Album Reviews
Follow Me
By Roger Farbey
June 16, 2019
Read You Get What You Give Album Reviews
You Get What You Give
By Ljubinko Zivkovic
June 16, 2019
Read Play The Bird And The Bee Album Reviews
Play The Bird And The Bee
By Dan Bilawsky
June 15, 2019
Read Appleblueseagreen Album Reviews
Appleblueseagreen
By Dan McClenaghan
June 15, 2019
Read The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings Album Reviews
The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings
By Doug Collette
June 15, 2019